A few months ago, Shailene Woodley was rumored to be E.L. James‘ top choice to play Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Now, her name is attached to a role in the geek realm that’s probably a bit more respected: Variety reports that Shailene is in talks to play Mary Jane Watson in the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man.
Up until now I hadn’t really considered who would play Peter Parker‘s most well-known love interest, partly because Emma Stone just killed it as Gwen Stacy in the first movie. Of course, we won’t get to have Gwen forever, so better to be looking ahead to filling her place.
I’m split on how suitable I think Shailene would be for the role. On the one hand, her best performance was as the troubled, emotional daughter in The Descendants. Although The Amazing Spider-Man sequels will be dark, it’d be hard to have a weepy Mary Jane as any sort of romantic competition against bright, quirky Gwen. If you’re looking to play Andrew Garfield opposite two geek dream girls, I’d be more inclined to cast someone like Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who already fulfilled teenage boys’ fantasies as Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
But on the other hand, why have two of the same character? Because Gwen already fills the geek girl role, maybe we want someone more reserved, with more emotional depth. In that case, I could see Shailene — whose show Secret Life of the American Teenager is finally ending — jumping at the chance.
Of course, this is still conjecture at this point. I know I meant it as a joke, but maybe we should just cast Emma Stone in both roles? That way we’d see her in her natural blonde hair as well as the redheaded look everyone loves about her, and when Gwen bites it we wouldn’t have to lose our girl crush. It’s brilliant! Truthfully, though, any of these would be an improvement over Kirsten Dunst from the original trilogy.
The studio is also casting for Peter’s best-friend-turned-enemy Harry Osborn, but so far there are no frontrunners.
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